In September of 2011, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas launched the Orchestra’s milestone Centennial Season with a celebratory gala concert dubbed “Fanfare for a New Century” at Davies Symphony Hall. The gala concert is presented here on DVD and Blu-ray as the Emmy® Award-Winning San Francisco Symphony at 100.
"San Francisco Symphony at 100" isn't really a documentary as much as it is a celebratory promotional film about the orchestra's 100th anniversary created by the Symphony and airing tonight on KQED. That doesn't mean it isn't a good, informative and immensely watchable film.
- David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
MTT is joined by legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.
The concert opens with Aaron Copland’s vivid portrayal of American prairie life, the Billy the Kid Ballet Suite and concludes with Britten’s orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra of which the San Francisco Chronicle said: “…as Thomas led his colleagues, section by section and soloist by soloist… the listener could only marvel at the level of individual excellence and communal artistry on display.” Capping off the concert is an encore of Bay Area composer John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine featuring moving images of San Francisco projected throughout Davies Symphony Hall.
The gala concert is hosted by author Amy Tan and is directed by Gary Halvorson.
Woven into the concert, San Francisco Symphony at 100 includes historical documentary segments narrated by Amy Tan highlighting the Orchestra’s early beginnings, its rich history of touring, and its innovations in media.
San Francisco Symphony at 100 and the historical documentary segments were made possible by a gift from Nan Tucker McEvoy.
Those interested in San Francisco Symphony at 100 may also be interested in MTT’s A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein.